We cats refuse to predict the outcome of today's special election for Senate in Massachusetts. Not because we think Scott Brown will win (although it would be terrible if he did), but because there's no basis for predicting who's going to actually vote. The only thing we know right now is that turnout is high.
However, we have found one possible silver lining should the Republicans take the seat. Since the race has been rightly or wrongly (we suspect wrongly) cast as a referendum on President Obama's efforts to reform health care — and, indeed, on his entire first year in office — a loss for the Democrats tonight may embolden a whole slew of nutbags in the Republican Party to consider running for President in 2012. Nothing as stimulating as blood in the water!
Oh, just think of them all: Sarah Palin, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Bobby Jindal, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mark Sanford (well, okay, not Sanford), John Thune, Jim DeMint, Bob McDonnell, Mitch Daniels, John McCain (no kidding), Rick Perry, Lindsay Graham, James Inhofe, Sam Brownback, George "Macaca" Allen, Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, Meg Whitman if she wins the Governor's race in California... heck, even Michael Steele. (Why not? He certainly wouldn't be shy about throwing his name into the mix.)
Why is this good? Because it could mean that by the time Iowa and South Carolina roll around, what would have merely been a street brawl could turn into a Republican riot of epic proportions.
Naturally, we cats hope that Martha Coakley pulls it out in Massachusetts today. But if not, the thought of Republicans out-slugging one another to go farther and farther and farther to the right in 2012 kind of makes us PURR.
UPDATE: Senator Al Franken (D-MN) says that no matter what happens today, health care legislation will pass one way or the other. As he is a veteran of a crazy election campaign himself, we take the good Senator at his word.
UPDATE II: We forgot to add Mike Huckabee to the list of Republican nutbags. Sorry, Fat Mike!